Archive for February, 2017

Cheese Wine and Chewie

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Fellow Wine Lovers,

If I may be so bold, might I suggest that this half term week seems to have instigated a small return to the normal?

There have been school trips, Instagram photos of mountains with snow on them, sports in the park and cinemas visited. Internationally, Mr Flynn has discovered that if you get caught telling porkies to the boss there are consequences, and we all suspect the kids could have warned him!

Future Star Wars movies may be in jeopardy though, due to reports that Harrison Ford maybe about to lose his pilot’s licence. As we went to press, despite several attempts, we had been unable to contact Chewbacca.

On the sports front we have No Nations Rugby this weekend (or a rest week if you prefer!), Arsenal managed their usual capitulation to Bayern Munich, and in a surprise move it would appear Barcelona used the same playbook. Joe Root is the new Alastair Cook, and as we move closer to winter testing, Mercedes have announced former Ferrari whizz, James Allison, as technical director. Clearly they’re keen to hold on to that world domination thing they have going on!

In wine news, Cliff Richard’s estate, Quinta do Miradoura which has been on the market since last year has just seen €3 million knocked of the price. If you have a spare €6.5 million under the bed you can snap up 11 bedrooms with sea and vineyard views, private pool and tennis court and all the winery and equipment too. Form an orderly queue!

More seriously, in a sad day for Swartland wineries it appears that the Swartland Municipality is opening up part of the Paardeberg for sand mining. Despite a two year battle involving lawyers, local, regional and national authorities the Municipality issued two licences this month, and  with the precedent set there will be little to stop a multiplication of mining activity in what, until now, was one of the leading regions in modern South African wine.  Progress, eh!

Wine & Cheese

The February and April dates are sold out but we still have a few places each for:-

Thursday 30th March and Thursday 25th May.

As usual an 8pm start and £20 per person.

Tasting this weekend.

The sudden balmy turn in the weather hasn’t lessened our quest for some wine with sunshine running through them, and this week we’ll head toward the Mediterranean end of France.

Standing in the white corner will be our chum Domaine Antugnac Chardonnay 2015 (£11.99), a cheeky little number from the plateau above Limoux. No oak at all just sun ripened Chardonnay grapes and the tip top winemaking.

The red corner will be occupied by a charming new red called Jean. Jean Gamay Noir 2015 (£13.99) is a new discovery for us, lovely spiced cherry fruits and medium body. Come and give it a taste and let us know what you think.

Cheers!

There are just a few days until St Valentine’s Day – we consider it a community service to remind you all – let’s face it, getting in trouble on a Tuesday is less than ideal!

Friday, February 10th, 2017

 

Ayes to the left and noes to the right – not as easy as they say!

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Fellow Wine Lovers,

So that’s it, is it? We’ve had a couple of days debating a series of ayes to the left and noes to the right and now the timetable is all ready for the action ahead. We’re expecting some hard knocks along the way and the possibility of some disappointment, too.

First off though, we’ll tell a remarkable tale of healing. This tale, whilst not as incredible as the idea of a former security guard becoming President or  a former property developer hanging up the phone in an apparent huff with the leader of another country, is nonetheless amazing.

No, no, no, readers, the Australian in this tale is called Eddie and the remarkable tale of healing is that of Joe Marler, who looks likely to start for the England rugby team despite suffering a fractured leg barely a month ago.  Tough as old boots, these rugby fellows!

The Six Nations starts on Saturday, with the action starting at 2.30 with Scotland hosting Ireland at Murrayfield. A chance for a comfort break and a quick visit to the wine shop before England stick it to host the French at Twickenham, at 5pm. We round off with Italy hosting Wales in the Sunday game, at 2pm.

In other sports, local giant killers Sutton United FC, having already squashed the cup dreams of AFC Wimbledon and Leeds United, are relishing their 5th round draw at home to Arsenal, who, in the form they displayed this week, must be terrified.

In proper sports, the Tour of Dubai is proving rather eventful. Mark Cavendish came 3rd on the opening days racing, having ridden the last 4km with a puncture. Then, on day 3, Andrei Grivko was kicked off the race and fined 200 Swiss Francs for punching Marcel Kittel. Kittel commented: “I guess Grivko had a coffee too much this morning”.

In other news, we find out that Francis Ford Coppola’s wines will be those poured at this year’s Oscars. In classic Hollywood understatement: ‘What seems logical to me is that if anyone’s going to provide wine to the Academy, it ought to be the Coppola family,’ Coppola said. ‘We were one of the earliest of the film people to get into the wine business; we have the most established, broad-based wine business of any film celebrity and, as a family, I imagine we have won as many nominations and wins as any.’  We understand around 2100 bottles will be consumed on the evening, not a bad sale, we thought!

Whilst we’re on the subject of wine, the eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that we put some dates in the diary for some Cheese & Wine tastings. First up is Thursday 23rd February at 8pm and I couldn’t help wondering if it might make for a suitable gift for Valentine’s Day. £20 per person gets you a seat at the table , cheese, wine and crackers. Surely that’s more fun than a bunch of roses!

Whilst we’re on the subject of sweethearts, we couldn’t help but notice that Dame Vera Lynn is celebrating her 100th birthday by releasing a new album. It contains guest appearances by Aled Jones, Alfie Boe and Alexander Armstrong; stories of a follow-up featuring Bruno Mars, Billy Idol and the Bay City Rollers are unconfirmed.

We’ll be raising a glass to Dame Vera this weekend with Handcrafted Gruner Vetliner 2016 by Martin & Anna Arndorfer (£14.49). They are particularly lazy in the winery  and this delicious white wine is made with a real minimum of intervention: unfiltered, unfined, and with a gentle spritz. Fresh, with a real, life-affirming zestiness.

On the red front, we’ll go a little more mainstream with Boekenhoutskloof’s Chocolate Block 2015 (£23.99 or 6 for £120), a rather delightful little number that you may have heard of. This vintage, all of the grapes are from Swartland.

That’s it from us, Dame Vera deposing Pete Tong’s Classic House from the top of the album chart might be fun.

We’ll meet again!